Image

2:12 PM / Thursday January 23, 2020

16 Aug 2010

District’s backtracking may force Charter School students onto the street

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
August 16, 2010 Category: Local Posted by:

Several hundred students will be forced to find a new school unless the Philadelphia School Reform Commission (SRC) reverses its decision denying the Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School its request for permanent K-12 status.

Image

 

Facing mounting debt from unfunded student enrollments, charter school officials last school year sought the SRC’s approval to permanently establish the high school, which would generate funding for those students and close the budget gap. School officials had been given the nod for this expansion by previous district officials to include CEO Paul Vallas and SRC Chairman Sandra Dungee-Glenn, but district bureaucracy prevented the expansion vote to come before the SRC during the time these officials were with the district. Acting in good faith, the charter school began its expansion several years ago and has since enrolled several hundred unfunded students. A recent SRC decision in effect repealed the high school expansion, creating an enrollment crisis for hundreds of families.

 

The school held a rally to educate parents and community members about the SRC’s decision and how it will affect the school and its students. The rally took place on Thursday, Aug. 12, in the school’s auditorium at 910 N. 6 St. Families and supporters joined school and elected officials to learn what action they should take to demand the school remains K-12 and receives funding for every student.

 

“This entire matter is about children’s rights to public school choice – and the district must stop playing games,” said school Founder and President of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Walter Palmer. “The political process being used against our school is arbitrary, capricious, and patently unfair. Strong, effective, and performing schools should not be subject to political whims.”

 

For the past five years, the school has enrolled additional students without district funding in anticipation of receiving a K-12 charter and consequent tax money. One year ago, the school was granted a K-11 charter.

 

This year, the school requested a full K-12 configuration and 325 additional students when applying for its five-year renewal. The renewal was granted, but specified a K-12 configuration for only the 2010-2011 year and limits the school to K-8 thereafter, with no new children or funding. The renewal caps the K-8 school at 675 students, cutting enrollment by 275 students.

 

“I’m puzzled by the district’s decision,” said Palmer. “First, restricting a school to a K-11 configuration makes no sense. Furthermore, reconfiguring a school from K-11 to K-12 to K-8 reeks of bloated politics and reflects nothing more than blatant disregard for our students.”

 

Charter school officials say removing a school’s charter or establishing an enrollment cap may violate parents’ civil rights by denying their legal right to select a public school of choice for their children.

 

Palmer points out that the school’s PSSA and AYP scores have shown that the high school is performing well, and therefore met the requirements necessary for charter renewal. At least 80% of students tested proficient in math and reading, and daily attendance rates were between 95 and 98 percent.

 

Without any change, the school faces more than a $1 million budget deficit due to tax dollars not following children from the district schools.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Commentary

Celebrating Dr. King As A Warrior, Not A Dreamer

January 16, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (Photo: Shutterstock) By A. Peter Bailey...

Travel

Smooth Traveler: Montgomery, Alabama (Part Two)

January 18, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Freedom Riders Museum  (Photos: Renée S. Gordon) By Renée S. Gordon...

Food And Beverage

Go long on game day: Ready-for-action recipes to feed fans

January 17, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email Family Features When game day arrives and your crowd is ready to crank...

Entertainment

Johnson Publishing artwork going on auction block

January 16, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email CHICAGO (AP) — Bankrupt Johnson Publishing Co., the former owner of Ebony and...

Color Of Money

Swiping payment cards at the pump could put your card information at risk

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Have you paid for gas recently at the pump where you’ve had...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of Jan. 26

January 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email All Signs: This week, the Sun and Mercury are in Aquarius; Venus joins...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff